The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
I read that list again this morning as part of my devotional time. I realized with dismay that my life more closely resembles the previous verses most of the time. Paul pointed to actions which make our focus on our own pleasures painfully obvious:
... hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy ...
And yet, it doesn't have to be this way. I looked at the "fruit of the Spirit" verses again. What would my life look like, I considered, if I were to truly allow God's Spirit to shine through me?
Living my life with Christ at the center, I have the power to
- care for myself and others with God's own heart
- delight in God's attention to every detail
- recognize that God holds me by the hand, no matter what my circumstances
- relax in God's perfect timing
- make life easier and more pleasant for those around me
- choose God's best in every situation
- remain true in my commitments to God, to myself, and to others
- temper my anger and my frustrations with God's grace
- be deliberate in my actions and reactions
What exactly is it I think I'm gaining?